I have several memories of my Dad, as we all do. Some good, some not so great. There is one memory that stands out to me this day.
I remember one Saturday night going to see the movie 101 Dalmatians which, having just looked it up, was released in 1961. It must have been around Easter time as I remember wearing the short white coats that we got a few years in a row, along with the flowered headbands that we wore in place of a hat, which was required to be worn when attending mass.
We went to the movie at night and I remember sitting in the balcony area of the theater. The steps leading up to the balcony were a big sweeping staircase and I always felt grand walking up and down them.
Anyhow, my sisters and I went to the movie with our folks, and then came home and most likely were sent to bed. I don’t think I slept much that night, and I am certain my parents most likely wanted to put me up for adoption or leave me on the curb to see who would pick me up. I think that because I remember my Dad coming into the bedroom and getting me ready to go to 5:30 a.m. mass. It was still dark out and once again I had on my little white coat and headband.
We went to mass and afterward, instead of going straight home, he took me for a drive. We drove up to the cemetery where my Mother now rests and he parked the car. We walked through a field that was roughly mowed and had just a few run down tombstones. This, he told me was Potter’s Field, a place where people were buried who didn’t have money or family. I remember looking at the field with wonder.
We continued walking to the end of the field. I never knew before this that there was a steep hill on the backside of the cemetery. This overlooked the river. The sun was about to rise fully and we stood there, just the two of us watching the sky turn brighter. We listened to the birds waking up and we saw the flowers that were in bloom in early spring.
I have thought of this many times through the years. It is just lately that I figured out that I must have been a pain throughout the night with not sleeping. But, I remember that he was not angry with me, but took time to spend with me. Most likely, it was my Mother who yelled at him to do something with me so she could get some sleep and so could my sisters who shared a room with me, but to me, it was a special time with my Dad.
We did not have many moments like this, as life got in the way, but, today on Father’s Day, I choose to remember this and be grateful to the man who raised me as best he knew how.
Thanks for stopping by today, DAF